Senate Says Amateur Journalists Don't Deserve Shield Protection

from the and-why-not? dept

Congress has been working on a federal "shield" law that that allows journalists to protect their sources. This is an important concept, and many states already have local laws on that front. Unfortunately, as the Senate was working on its version of the bill, it's apparently decided that the law should only apply to professional journalists who make their living that way. If you happen to just write a blog post that exposes some sort of wrong, you'll have no shield protections. Or if you write for a participatory media site and blow a whistle, again, you'll have no shield protection for your sources. While not all that surprising (do you really think our Senators understand the value of participatory journalism), it's still disappointing.

Filed Under: amateur, journalists, professional, senate, shield law

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  1. identicon
    Glaze, 24 Sep 2009 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Re: Clarify?

    So the loop hole here is the term "independent contractor" you don't neccessarily have to be "employed" (by which I mean earn money) in order to be an independent contractor, you just have to have filed a contract with the reporting organization, blog, website, etc. This then makes you an "independent contractor". The contract doesn't have to mention anything about compensation, just that you are "employed under the terms of the contract". Bloggers listen up... anything your sources send in, you just need to have a piece of paper now that says you are under contract by [insert blog/website name here]... badda bing badda boom you are now an independent contractor for your own blog/website.

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